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Duke Robillard & His All-Star Band (from the album Six Strings of Steel available on M.C. Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Duke Robillard’s credentials speak for themselves. He boasts an impressive resume, having played a significant role in the influential band Roomful of Blues, the group he founded, before signing on as the chief guitar foil for singer Robert Gordon and later replacing Jimmy Vaughn in The Fabulous Thunderbirds. That is all in addition to a brief stint as Bob Dylan’s touring guitarist.
Considering all he’s accomplished up to this point, Six Strings of Steel represents a compendium of the various sounds and styles that have shaped his approachable along the way. It’s an assorted mix to be sure, one that veers from the swing and swagger of such songs as “In Perfect Harmony”, “Billy in the Lion’s Den”, “I’m Gonna’ Be A Wheel Someday”, and “Lima Beans” to the assured shuffle conveyed through “Shame, Shame, Shame” and the double time delivery of “Take Your Fine Frame Home”. “Love Struck”, “Lovin’ You”, and a take on Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow”, offer a temporary respite in terms of tone and tempo, but for the most part the momentum is maintained throughout. A version of the Link Wray standard “Rumble” finds the same steady groove as his cover of Barney Kessel’s “Git With It!”. despite any subtle difference in terms of drive and deliberation. Various songs boast a brassy flourish, but regardless of the arrangements, all the material remains firmly etched within the basics of the Blues.
That’s hardly surprising considering Duke Robillard’s dedication to form, but what is impressive here is his means of shifting his stance with such verve and versatility. With Six Strings of Steel, he not only manages to affirm his prowess and prominence, but also to establish his credence and commitment as far as adhering to an elevated set of standards. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Duke Robillard from AMAZON
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